Summer is fast approaching and what quenches thirst better than some boozy bubbles? Love them or hate them, hard seltzers are here to stay. Admittedly, I enjoy a Truly or 12 on a hot day: they are the perfect poolside drink, fantastically portable for your boat-drinking needs, and are always a crowd pleaser. But where did this phenomenon originate? For this, we go to Texas and the amazingly simple cocktail, Ranch Water.
Before White Claw took over the beer aisle (or Natty Light making something remotely drinkable), Texans were pouring tequila in their Topo Chico. Ranch Water was invented out of necessity to quench thirst and ease the tired muscles of cowboys and ranch hands working in the sweltering heat of the Texas plains. Ranch Water is your new favorite summer cocktail, composed of an ice cold bottle of Topo Chico (plain, lime, or grapefruit), tequila, a spritz of lime, and maybe a dash of Tajin. It's simple, it's refreshing, it's delicious.
If you want to get extra fancy, pour fresh squeezed lime juice into ice trays and freeze. These will keep your cocktail cold, and infuse your Ranch Water with more flavor as it melts. Want a fruity twist? Check out our post on the Rancho Clara Cocktail. You can switch it up with your fruit of choice, such as mango, pineapple, or strawberry. Salud!
RANCH WATER COCKTAIL
4-6 oz bottle Topo Chico
2.5 oz Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Optional: Tajin, Tapatio, or Cholula
Rim highball or other tall glass with Tajin. Fill with ice. Pour in tequila, lime juice, and a splash of hot sauce, if desired. Stir. Pour in Topo Chico, stir gently. Garnish with a lime wedge or wheel.
If you want to make in the bottle, drink or decant 1/3 of the Topo Chico. Pour in tequila and lime juice (and optional hot sauce). Stick your thumb in and turn the bottle upside down. Garnish with a shake of Tajin and a lime wedge.